It’s a fact that people want to work with and buy from those that they know, like and trust. It’s also the case that the best way to earn the trust of your clients is to demonstrate authenticity in everything that you do.
So, what is authenticity?
Apart from being a bit of a buzzword, authenticity means being true to who you really are in both what you say and what you do.
You should show honesty and integrity both online and in person. When people meet you in real life, there should be no surprises. They should feel that how you appear online matches how you behave in real life. In basic terms, you should be ‘real’.
Should You Censor Yourself?
There is an argument that you should be authentic, but only in the ‘right’ circumstances. That might mean dressing a bit more professionally for certain events or curbing your cursing around particular people.
I’m not sure I buy that. If doing those things feels authentic to you, then go ahead. But I could never wear a suit these days without feeling like a fraud and I’m afraid my bad language slips no matter the company. That’s who I am.That’s my authentic self.
Consistent Brand Authenticity
As social media increasingly takes over our lives, controlling the many ways to connect with your ideal client becomes increasingly hard.
You may employ a VA to create your content, a social media manager to schedule your posts and a website designer to create your homepage. Although these roles are essential to your business growth, the challenge is to make sure all these brand touch points show your authenticity.
Creating brand guidelines which include every aspect of your brand, including your tone of voice, are essential in maintaining your brand’s authenticity and also create brand consistency.
To be able to create these brand guidelines, however, you must do the work to fully understand your brand’s messaging. This comes from knowing your ‘big idea’, values, vision, and your business persona. These things go to the core of your business and should be understood before you even begin to think about the visuals you use.